The East European Shepherd Dog appeared in the Soviet Union, as a result of careful selection. The development of the breed began in the 1930s, however, the Second World War significantly complicated this process. Therefore, the work ended only in the mid-50s, giving the country a new breed – hardy, strong, resistant to cold weather.
It was these qualities that breeders sought to develop, since for service in various regions of a huge country with a harsh climate, dogs were required that had the appropriate characteristics – a powerful physique, long hair, and sufficient body fat. In addition, breeders sought to get rid of a disease common among German shepherds – hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.
Contrary to popular misconception, no other dogs, except German shepherds, were used in the creation of the East European Shepherd breed. The breeding program was based only on careful selection and subsequent crossing of exclusively purebred individuals.
The first standard was developed and adopted by the Kennel Council of the USSR Ministry of Agriculture in 1964. The RKF (Russian Cynological Federation) and the Continental Kennel Club officially recognize the breed, and it is also included in the American Dog Register.
They are large dogs with a strong, muscular build. The chest is voluminous, wide, the abdominal cavity is pronounced. The limbs are of medium length, the neck is massive, the ears are erect. The coat is long, the tail is long.
The East European Shepherd Dog has a very balanced and calm character, and sometimes it may even seem that it is a slow and slightly phlegmatic dog. However, this is not at all the case. On the contrary, the dog constantly monitors the environment, monitors everything that is happening around and instantly reacts, is included in what is happening.
The breed has an excellent reaction, excellent guard and sentinel instincts, an excellent sense of smell. These dogs in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, are often used as watchdogs, because of their excellent qualities. Moreover, the East European Shepherd Dog does not have innate aggression towards people, and therefore does not react inadequately to others during a walk, and does not pose any danger, before a conflict situation arises. Or, until the moment when the dog is not aware of itself as a guardian of its territory.
It is not afraid of the cold, has a very warm coat. It may well live on the territory of a private house, and spend most of the year on the street. She is very devoted to her master and family, loves to work, do useful things, and be in close contact with the owner. As a rule, there are no problems in training. However, the owner must have a strong character and not be afraid of large dogs.
Children are treated well, but if the child is too young, under two years old, and makes a lot of screaming, then this can serve as an unfavorable psychological environment for the puppy. The dog adapts well to various living conditions, the best place for its keeping is, of course, a private house with its own yard. It is not recommended to keep them in small apartments.
Has an average energy level, but needs long walks every day, at least an hour a day. Physical activity is also recommended to maintain muscles, various active games, etc. They are exceptionally smart, quick-witted, have an excellent memory.
The East European Shepherd Dog is in good health and almost does not get sick. Unlike German Shepherds, this breed has almost no hip and elbow dysplasia, however, just like the German Shepherd, it is prone to various ear infections.